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What's new

New guy entering the CNC world!

Fadriver

Aluminum
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Location
los angels ca.
I really appreciate everyone's input and background. From the stories, the space, and the power it does sound like I'm going to scale back the initial machine to purchase. We will still need lathe work to compliment his mill, but a 2008 Mazak 200-MSY may still be both too much, too big (amps) and too complicated.

A Tormach 15L Slant Pro I think is probably too small for the 4" diameter, 6" long stock to turn down for a hub, and there is no tailstock.

With that in mind, what make/model/year would be some good recommendations?

What kind of hub, I do hubs in a femco wt35/70 have 2, but how you compete with China
is not the 90s, i opened i 99 and any fool could make a living, now is almost impossible
a piece of aluminum 8in by 2.25 =$60. some places want it $75., you need to search internet
for products and cost and see if you can do better, takes small fortune to make product now, and
there is no guarantee of surviving seems to me there is not enough money out there, people is buying
basic stuff, but no luxury items, only the rich but there not too many.
 

DouglasJRizzo

Titanium
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
Location
Ramsey, NJ.
"How do you compete with China?"
Easy, superior parts with a decent turnaround. Most of my work are things that came back from China after the customer got tired of 40 week waits and parts that looked like they were hewn with a dull chisel. Sure you can get it cheap. Do really want a product that looks, feels, specs like cheap?

As far as machines to start out - as a former Applications Engineer and Training Coordinator for a major MTB, I strongly recommend a 3 axis mill for starts, and maybe, if you can swing it, a 2 axis lathe. Leave the multi axis/multi tasking stuff for later.

Avoid orphans - machines/controls no longer made or supported.
Stick with brand name stuff that you can get parts and support for.
 

Fadriver

Aluminum
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Location
los angels ca.
"How do you compete with China?"
Easy, superior parts with a decent turnaround. Most of my work are things that came back from China after the customer got tired of 40 week waits and parts that looked like they were hewn with a dull chisel. Sure you can get it cheap. Do really want a product that looks, feels, specs like cheap?

As far as machines to start out - as a former Applications Engineer and Training Coordinator for a major MTB, I strongly recommend a 3 axis mill for starts, and maybe, if you can swing it, a 2 axis lathe. Leave the multi axis/multi tasking stuff for later.

Avoid orphans - machines/controls no longer made or supported.
Stick with brand name stuff that you can get parts and support for.

What kind of product you do or rework?
in the automotive industry you will be surprised, they make heck of quality
they have the best equipment, for the last 10 years or so, china supplies
the big three OEMs, good quality with unbeatable price, now India seems to
me wants to be a source supplying Toyota with alu wheels for Tundra,
China have forging companies that duplicated us. process and quality.
My quality is as good and faster turnaround but not pricewise.
 

Mike7557

Plastic
Joined
Apr 18, 2022
Thanks for all the comments. To clarify power, there is already 50a 110v service in the garage, I would add 50a 220v and a phase converter. Sounds like the 50 may need to be 60+ to accommodate the converter as well.

I would agree to start on a mill, but my partner has a mill and we lack the turning capability. I do see the value of avoiding complex multi axis to start though.

I'm looking at a 2002 Haas ST10T with 5,500 spindle hours from a university. No tools, and the only real added option is the presetter. They want 20.5k but I'm not sure if that's a solid deal. I need to find new places to look because the PremiereEquipment type brokers I dont think will have a deal on much.

Unless that Haas is a solid choice I will keep looking for a 2 axis. If anyone has good resources for the hunt I'd appreciate a DM on where to direct my efforts.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
Thanks for all the comments. To clarify power, there is already 50a 110v service in the garage, I would add 50a 220v and a phase converter. Sounds like the 50 may need to be 60+ to accommodate the converter as well.

I would agree to start on a mill, but my partner has a mill and we lack the turning capability. I do see the value of avoiding complex multi axis to start though.

I'm looking at a 2002 Haas ST10T with 5,500 spindle hours from a university. No tools, and the only real added option is the presetter. They want 20.5k but I'm not sure if that's a solid deal. I need to find new places to look because the PremiereEquipment type brokers I dont think will have a deal on much.

Unless that Haas is a solid choice I will keep looking for a 2 axis. If anyone has good resources for the hunt I'd appreciate a DM on where to direct my efforts.

You need a better understanding of the power involved to run a CNC lathe and what the numbers on your breaker box mean. You need to know the size and type of wires, the KVA of your transformer and you can't run an RPC and CNC lathe through sub panels running off residential circuit breakers. It will not work. You can't suck enough pixies through a breaker after a breaker through a phase converter. The breakers are a pixie choke point. Residential breakers are not designed to feed continuous heavy loads.

Haas lathes are a joke. I guess the one plus is they are so anemic they will probably actually run off your 50 amp breaker, but a CNC lathe needs balls. You cannot effectively make turned parts if your lathe doesn't have the sack to break chips or push a drill. You will go through carbide like crazy in ferrous materials if the machine is flimsy.

If you're running parts with a larger OD you would be wise to buy a machine with gears. Especially if you are power limited you can run at the top end of the low ranges and get extra grunt when you need it.

Old 2 axis lathes do essentially the exact same stuff with the exact same performance as a brand new one. Actually, older box way machines are often vastly more rigid than newer ones.

I would always take rigidity over top end RPM.

Fanuc for the win if you are buying more than 10 years old.
 

LOTT

Cast Iron
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
I would agree to start on a mill, but my partner has a mill and we lack the turning capability. I do see the value of avoiding complex multi axis to start though.

I'm looking at a 2002 Haas ST10T with 5,500 spindle hours from a university. No tools, and the only real added option is the presetter. They want 20.5k but I'm not sure if that's a solid deal. I need to find new places to look because the PremiereEquipment type brokers I dont think will have a deal on much.

Unless that Haas is a solid choice I will keep looking for a 2 axis. If anyone has good resources for the hunt I'd appreciate a DM on where to direct my efforts.

That Haas control isn't supported. While I personally hate running FANUC, Garwood has a point about prioritizing them for an older machine.

On the lathe vs mill, you have to appreciate how much mass you're spinning up. That's the other reason I was recommending a 30 taper mill.

Edit to add: Have you thrown some RFQ's out on this hub? Find out what Ox or Garwood would cost to make these things, then run the costs on buying a lathe again. I'm not trying to discourage getting into machining, just not making life harder than it needs to be.
 

LOTT

Cast Iron
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Isn't a basic lathe much easier than a mill in cnc and program writing?
(other than the fact that Z is sideways which goes against all of my thinking of the real world x/y/z)
Bob

Easy to program maybe, it's sucking up the juice that we're worried about.
 

Mike7557

Plastic
Joined
Apr 18, 2022
Update & looking for advice again.

The house is serviced w/ 150a breaker. Most large components are gas powered in the house except the dryer.

I plan to add a 100a 220v breaker/line run to a 30hp RPC that will only service the lathe. The 2004 Haas TL-15 is labeled at 20hp but only 35a largest load and 40a full.
26 gal air compressor would be on the separate 30a garage line.

American Rotary and North American Phase Converter Co tell me the 30hp model on a 100a line is sufficient. Another guy I asked said I was crazy, needed 40hp on 200a line and a 30 KVA transformer or the power company would shut me off for turning everyone's lights off.. These answers are wildly different, looking for info on which end of this spectrum real life will end on.
 








 
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